Skip to main content

Full text of "The history of the railroads of Tioga county, Pa."

See other formats



3  1833  01773  6890 







Allen  County  Public  Library 

900  Webster  Street 

PO  Box  2270 

Fort  Wayne,  IN  46801-2270 



Paper  Read  before  the  Tioga  County  Historical  Society 
at  Wellsboro,  Pa.,  April  15th,  1909,  by 

ANTON  HARDT,   of   Wellsboro,   Pa. 

As  far  as  historical  data  is  concerned  this  paper  would 
be  unnecessary,  since  the  histories  of  Tioga  county  and  other 
works  contain  nearly  all  the  important  historical  facts  re- 
ferring to  the  railroads  of  the  county,  but  having  been  identi- 
fied with  tho  conception  and  execution  of  many  railroad 
projects  in  this  county  during  the  past  forty  years,  I  thought 
that  possibly  some  of  my  personal  recollections  might  be  in- 
teresting to  our  Society  and  furthermore  I  am  glad  of  the 
opportunity  to  pay  an  humble  tribute  to  the  memory  or  some 
of  my  best  friends. 

On  January  1,  1839,  there  was  no  railroad  existing  in 
Tioga  county.  Passenger  traffic  and  mail  service  were  car- 
ried on  principally  on  foot,  or  horseback,  by  stage  coach  or 
private  conveyance.  Freight  was  moved  by  horses,  mules 
or  ox  teams;  some  lumber  was  carried  on  rafts,  and  logs 
were  floated  down  Pine  creek,  the  Tioga  and  Cowanesque 
rivers,  and  on  the  tributaries  of  those  streams. 

Seventy  years  later,  on  January  1,  1909,  our  county  had 
206  miles  of  railroad,  of  which  twenty-two  mlleo  are  double 
track,  and  about  ten  miles  of  sidings.  The  amount  of  capi- 
tal invested  in  land,  roadbed,  bridges,  buildings  etc,,  is  esti- 
mated to  exceed  ten  millions  of  dollars. 

The  evolution  of  nearly  all  the  railroad  lines  in  this 
county  can  bo  traced  back  to  the  Indian  trails,  traveled  cen- 
turies ago  by  the  Seneca  tribe.  These  trails  were  used  after- 
wards by  the  white  man  on  foot,  or  horseback,  and  later  on 
wagon  roads  were  built  on  almost  the  identical  routes.  Fin- 
ally the  railroads  were  located  through  the  same  valleys  and 
over  the  watersheds,  of  which  the  Indians  took  advantage. 
I  have  been  told  that  the  Indians  used  to  come  up  Pina  creek 
with  their  canoes  to  tho  mouth  of  Marsh  creek,  thence  up 
Marsh  creek  to  where  Niles  Valley  is  now  located.  There 
they  carried  their  canoes  over  the  summit  to  the  headwaters 
of  Crooked  creek,  which  they  navigated  down  to  Tioga  and 
thenco  to  the  large  Indian  settlement  at  Painted  Post.  The 
summit  at  Niles  Valley  is  a  watershed  between  the  North 
Branch  and  West  Branch  of  the  Susquehanna,  and  is  re- 
markable  for  its  low   elevation,   only    1,192    feet  above  tide 


water.  This  low  summit  insured  the  success  of  operating 
the  Pine  Creek  railroad,  which  has  no  grades  exceeding  26 
feet  per  mile. 

The  first  railroad  constructed  in  this  county  was  the  line 
from  Lawrenceville  to  Blossburg,  which,  with  the  extension 
to  Corning,  formed  the  Blossburg  and  Corning  railroad.  It 
was  laid  out  in  1832,  by  Richard  C.  Taylor,  an  eminent  civil 
engineer  and  geologist.  The  construction  of  this  railroad 
under  the  direction  of  Chief  Engineer  Miller  Fox,  of  To- 
wanda,  Pa.,  was  begun  In  1839,  and  finished  in  the  fall  of 
1840,  and  4,235  tons  of  coal  were  sent  over  it  to  market  in 
that  year.  The  northern  terminus  was  at  Corning,  where  It 
connected  with  the  Chemung  canal. 

When  we  consider  the  state  of  the  country,  the  building 
of  the  Blossburg  and  Corning  Railroad,  in  1840,  must  be  re- 
garded as  one  of  the  boldest  enterprises  of  that  day.  The 
present  railroad  system  of  the  state  of  New  York  as  yet  had 
no  existence.  The  Auburn  and  Syracuse  R.  R.,  now  a  part 
of  the  N.  Y.  C.  &  H.  R.  R.  R.,  was  not  opened  to  traffic  until 
1843,  and  the  Auburn  and  Rochester  railroad  in  1842.  The 
first  portion  of  the  Erie  Railway  was  opened  from  Piedmont 
to  Goshen  in  1841,  was  extended  to  Middletown  in  1S43,  to 
Port  Jarvis  in  1848,  to  Elmira  in  1849,  to  Corning  in  1S50, 
and  through  to  Dunkirk  in  1851.  Cumberland  coal  was  not 
sent  to  market  until  1842,  and  the  Philadelphia  &  Reading 
R.  R.,  the  first  of  the  great  coal  railroads,  was  finished  in 
1842.  The  total  anthracite  coal  trade  in  the  United  States 
in  1842  was  841,584  tons,  and  that  of  bituminous  coal  car- 
ried to  the  seaboard  consisted  of  78,751  tons,  from  the  Rich- 
mond veins  in  Virginia.  In  1908  it  was  80  million  tons  of 
anthracite  and  338  million  tons  of  bituminous. 

The  Blossburg  and  Corning  R.  R.  was,  therefore,  one  of 
the  oldest  railroads  in  the  United  States,  built  expressly  to 
carry  coal,  and,  as  events  proved,  it  was  somewhat  in  advance 
of  the  wants  of  the  country.  It  was  constructed  in  a  simple 
way:  The  foundation  consisted  of  cross  timbers  laid  twelve 
feet  apart,  on  which  stringers  we-re  framed.  On  the  inner 
edge  of  the  stringers  pieces  of  fiat  iron,  called  strap-rail, 
were  fastened  by  iron  spikes.  During  the  operation  of  this 
railroad  the  spikes  were  loosened  and  sometimes  let  the  end 
of  a  strap  rail  curl  up,  which  would  penetrate  the  floor  of 
the  passenger  coach  like  a  snake,  and  was  therefore  called 
s.  "snakehead."  Derailments  of  trains  were  frequent,  and 
I  was  told  that  upon  one  occasion  several  ox  teams  were 
secured  from  a  neighboring  field  to  draw  the  locomotive  back 
on  the  track. 

In  185  2  the  strap  rails  were  replaced  by  T  rails,  spiked 
on  cross  ties,  and  the  roadbed  and  equipment  greatly  im- 
proved, the  Honorable  John  Magee,  of  Bath,  N.  Y.,  having 
in  the  meantime  become  the  owner  of  the  line  from  Law- 
renceville to  Corning. 

I  took  my  first  ride  over  the  road  Jan.  7,  1867,  and  re- 
member well  the  striking  appearance  of  the  passenger  coach, 
which  was  coupled  to  a  long  string  of  five-ton  coal  dumps. 
In  the  center  of  the  coach  was  a  good-sized  coal  stove,  a 
plush  covered  sofa  on  each  side  of  the  coach  opposite  the 
stove,  and  seats  arranged  in  the  usual  way  at  each  end  of 
the  coach.     There  were  only  two  ticket  offices  on  the  line. 


one  at  Corning  and  one  at  Blossburg.  It  took  three  and  one- 
half  hours  to  cover  forty  miles,  from  Corning  to  Blossburg. 
Shops  at  Blossburg  for  the  repair  of  locomotives  and  cars 
employed  quite  a  crew  of  machinists,  blacksmiths,  carpen- 
ters and  laborers,  and  considerable  money  was  disbursed  ev- 
ery pay  day,  helping  to  maintain  trade  and  adding  to  the 
prosperity  of  Blossburg. 

In  1853  the  line  from  Blossburg  to  Morris  Run  was  con- 
structed under  the  direction  of  Colonel  Pharon  Jarett,  of 
Lockhaven,  Pa. 

The  line  from  Blossburg  to  Fall  Brook  w?.s  built  in  1859, 
by  John  Magee  and  Humphries  Brewer,  civil  engineer,  who 
became  afterwards  superintendent  of  the  Fall  Brook  mines 
and  first  president  of  the  Wellsboro  &  Lawrenceville  Rail- 
road. The  rails  of  the  Fall  Brook  branch  were  taken  up  and 
the  railroad  abandoned  in  1900.  There  was  still  a  large 
amount  of  coal  in  the  Fall  Brook  mines,  but  the  miners, 
without  having  any  grievance,  went  on  a  "sympathetic" 
strike  and  the  coal  company  decided  to  abandon  the  mines. 
Part  of  the  railroad  bed  Is  now  used  as  a  public  road  be- 
tween Blossburg  and  Roaring  Branch. 

The  line  from  Blossburg  to  Arnot  was  built  in  1866,  and 
extended  to  Hoytville  In  1883;  S.  B.  Elliott,  chief  engineer. 

In  1867  a  survey  for  a  lino  from  Lawrenceville  to  An- 
trim was  made  by  the  writer  under  the  direction  of  Humph- 
ries Brewer,  who  died  at  Fall  Brook,  Dec.  25,  1867.  The 
construction  of  this  railroad  was  commenced  In  May,  1870, 
and  finished  in  the  fall  of  1872. 

The  Cowanesque  branch,  Horatio  Seymour,  Jr.,  chief  en- 
gineer, was  completed  In  1873  from  Lawrenceville  to  Elk- 
land,  and  subsequently  extended  to  Ulysses,  in  Potter  coun- 

In  1876  the  Elmira  and  State  Line  railroad  from  Law- 
renceville to  Elmira  was  completed,  S.  M.  Seymour,  chief 
engineer,  and  in  1884  this  line,  with  the  railroad  to  Hoyt- 
ville and  the  Morris  Run  branch,  passed  Into  the  possession 
of  the  Erie  Railway  Company,  and  has  remained  since  a  part 
of  that  system. 

All  the  lines  mentioned  so  far  were  originally  six  foot 
gauge,  but  were  changed  in  the  course  of  time  to  standard 
gauge.  For  several  years  three  rails  were  used  between  the 
mining  towns  and  Watkins,  N.  Y.,  to  accommodate  rolling 
stock  of  both  gauges.  The  standard  gauge  is  four  feet,  8^ 

The  Jersey  Shore,  Pine  Creek  and  Buffalo  Railway  Com- 
pany was  chartered  Feb.  17th,  1870.  for  the  construction 
of  a  line  from  Jersey  Shore  to  Port  Allegany,  by  the  waters 
of  Pine  creek  and  its  tributaries,  and  contained  this  proviso: 
"That  no  connection  shall  be  made  with  the  road  authorized 
to  be  constructed  by  this  act  and  any  railroad  In  the  county 
of  Tioga  running  into  the  state  of  New  York  except  by  way 
of  Long  Run  and  the  Cowanesque  valley. 

The  office  of  the  company  was  located  in  Coudersport, 
and  remained  there  until  January  25,  1882,  when  It  was 
moved  to  WellBboro.  At  that  time  the  New  York  Central  & 
Hudson  River  Railroad  Company  had  obtained  a  controlling 
interest  In  the  road,  and  disregarding  the  proviso  before 
mentioned  ordered  a  connection  made  at  Stokesdale  with  the 


Fall  Brook  system,  by  way  of  Ansonia.  Construction  of  the 
road  was  begun  at  once,  and  the  road  was  opened  for  traffic 
June  4,  1883,  when  it  was  leased  to  the  Fall  Brook  Railway 
Co.  for  twenty  years. 

On  June  1st,  1889,  one  of  the  worst  floods  known  In  this 
region  occurred  on  Pine  creek,  carried  away  some  of  the 
bridges  and  washed  out  the  track  in  many  places.  It  took 
over  three  months  to  put  the  road  In  running  order,  and  the 
damage,  Including  loss  of  traffic,  was  estimated  to  exceed 
one  million  dollars. 

On  May  1st,  1899, by  mutual  consent,  the  loase  of  the  Pine 
Creek  railroad  to  the  Fall  Brook  Railway  Company  was 
cancelled,  the  New  York  Central  Railroad  Company  acquired 
possession  of  the  Fall  Brook  system  by  a  999  years'  lease  and 
took  It  upon  themselves  to  operate  the  consolidated  lines 
under  the  name  of  the  Pennsylvania  Division.  About  22 
miles  In  Tioga  county  have  since  been  double  tracked,  and 
a  notable  change  In  the  grade  has  been  made  near  Tioga  to 
facilitate  the  hauling  of  south  bound  freight. 

The  late  Charles  S.  Pattlson,  of  Elkland,  was  the  prime 
mover  in  the  organization  of  the  Addison  and  Pennsylvania 
Railroad  Company,  in  1882,  and  was  president  of  the  Penn- 
sylvania Division  of  the  road  up  to  his  death,  April  10,.  1896. 
The  section  from  Addison  to  Westfleld,  which  enters  Tioga 
county  at  Nelson  station,  was  completed  and  the  first  pas- 
senger cars  run  between  those  towns  November  27,  1882, 
within  ninety  days  from  the  time  the  work  was  commenced. 
The  line  was  subsequently  extended  to  Gaines  and  Galeton. 
It  was  originally  a  narrow  gauge  road,  and  was  changed 
to  standard  width  in  the  spring  of  1895. 

The  Buffalo  and  Susquehanna  Railway  originated  with 
a  lumber  track  from  Keating  Summit  to  Austin,  in  1885.  It 
was  gradually  extended  to  Costello.  Austin  and  Galeton,  and 
reached  Ansonia  in  1894.  The  B.  &  S.  R.  R.  Co.  bought 
and  partly  reconstructed  the  Addison  and  Pennsylvania  line 
from  Galeton  to  Addison  In  1898  and  abandoned  at  the  same 
time  the  old  line  between  Galeton  and  Gaines,  using  its  own 
line  from  Galeton  to  Gaines  for  Addison  traffic.  In  1895 
it  extended  its  line  from  Galeton  to  Wellsvllle,  N.  Y.,  and 
thence  to  Buffalo  In  1906.  A  branch  starting  at  Wharton, 
Potter  county,  reaches  Dubois  via  Slnnemahoning.  This 
branch  was  completed  in  1908.  The  total  mileage  of  the 
main  line  operated  at  present  by  the  B.  &  S.  Railroad  Co. 
is  354  miles.  Besides  this,  the  Goodyear  Lumber  Co.  owns 
and  operates  with  Its  own  equipment  about  100  miles  of  lum- 
ber railroads,  standard  gauge.  The  affiliated  Interests  of 
the  B.  &  S.  Railroad  have  acquired  large  tracts  of  coal  lands 
In  Clearfield,  Jefferson,  Indiana  and  Armstrong  counties,  all 
of  which  are  now  in  operation.  Sagamore,  Armstrong  coun- 
ty, has  just  been  completed,  and  It  was  the  intention  of  F. 
H.  Goodyear,  President  of  the  B.  &  S.  Railroad,  to  make  this 
the  largest  producing  coal  mine  in  the  United  States.  An- 
other enterprise  with  which  Mr.  Goodyear  was  connected  la 
the  B.  &  8.  Coal  &  Iron  Co.,  at  Buffalo,  which  la  supplied 
with  coke  from  mines  on  the  B.  &  S.  Railway. 

Mr.  Henry  Herden  has  been  chief  engineer  of  the  B.  &  S. 
Railway  since  1891,  and  I  am  Indebted  to  him  and  to  Mr.  C. 


W.  Goodyear,  president  of  the  company,  for  much  of  the  In- 
formation regarding  the  B.  &  S.  Railway. 

About  two  miles  of  the  great  Pennsylvania  R.  R.  system 
are  contained  within  the  boundaries  of  our  county.  Pem- 
bryn  station,  formerly  called  Carpenters,  Is  located  near  the 
southeast  boundary  of  Tioga  county,  on  the  Elmira  division 
of  the  Northern  Central  railway.  This  fact  may  be  impor- 
tant If  taxation  of  railroad  property  for  county  purposes  ever 
becomes  a  reality.  The  south  end  of  this  road  was  first  built 
from  Wllllam8port  to  Ralston,  in  1839.  A  locomotive,  named 
the  Robert  Ralston,  was  brought  from  Philadelphia  on  a 
canal  boat  and  placed  on  the  railroad.  Eighteen  months 
afterward  a  second  locomotive  was  purchased,  named  the 
Wllllamsport.  The  road  was  poorly  constructed.  The  track 
consisted  of  strap  rail  spiked  to  stringers,  and  the  wear  and 
tear  caused  by  the  locomotives  waB  so  great  that  they  had  to 
be  taken  off  at  the  end  of  nine  years  and  horses  substltued. 
This  railroad  was  the  outgrowth  of  the  coal  and  Iron  opera- 
tions on  Lycoming  creek,  in  which  Mr.  Ralston  spent  his 
fortune,  but  founded  a  town  which  perpetuated  his  name. 
When  the  road  was  rebuilt  and  T  rails  placed  on  the  track, 
the  discarded  locomotive  "Wllllamsport"  was  renovated  and 
put  on  the  road  again.  After  many  vlclsltudes  the  road  was 
completed  to  Elmira,  and  called  the  Wllllamsport  &  Elmira 
R.  R.     It  is  now  known  as  the  Northern  Central  Railway. 

I  presume  that  the  historian  should  not  venture  to  make 
predictions  of  the  future,  but  it  can  do  no  harm  to  say  a  few 
words  about  the  future  of  the  railroads  in  this  county. 

The  Pennsylvania  Division  of  he  N.  Y.  C.  R.  R.  will  prob- 
ably be  double  tracked  in  a  few  years,  and  will  In  time  form 
the  most  important  link  between  the  New  England  States 
and  Pittsburg.  iv_       a.      ., 

It  has  been  predicted  by  conservative  men  that  the  time 
will  come  when  the  Tioga  branch  of  the  Erla  R.  R.  will  be 
abandoned  between  Blossburg  and  Hoytvllle.  I  have  reason 
to  doubt  this;  on  the  contrary,  I  believe  that  some  time  this 
road  will  be  extended  from  Hoytvllle  to  Blackwell. 

The  lumber  traffic  on  the  B.  &  S.  Railway  will  gradually 
decrease,  but  the  coal  and  coke  traffic  from  southwestern 
Pennsylvania,  where  the  company  controls  vasts  tracts  of 
coal  land,  will  for  many  years  insure  profitable  traffic. 

Having  briefly  outlined  the  history  of  the  railroads  of 
Tioga  county,  I  will  now  proceed  to  give  short  sketches  of 
the  men  who  were  most  prominent  in  the  conception,  con- 
struction or  operation  of  these  roads. 


I  met  Hon.  John  Magee  for  the  flr»t  time  on  Oct.  17, 
1867,  at  Lyman  Smith  Hotel,  in  Tioga.  He  was  then  eev- 
enty-three  years  old,  but  still  a  fine  looking  man,  about  sir 
feet  tall,  Btralght  and  well-built,  with  smooth  face  and  pierc- 
ing eyes;  he  could  not  help  Impressing  anyone  as  a  man  of 
superior  faculties.  He  was  dressed  In  black  broadcloth  and 
carried  a  gold  headed  cane.  I  noticed  that  bis  shirt  bosom 
was  ruffled  and  snow  white,  and  when  I  called  at  his  home 


In  Watklns,  N.  Y.,  later  on,  his  ruffled  shirt  attracted  my 
attention  again.  Evidently  his  good  'wife  took  special  pains 
■with  It,  as  at  that  time  there  was  no  laundry  In  Watklns. 
I  was  told  that  Mr.  Magee  at  one  time  wanted  to  negotiate 
a  loan  with  a  banker  In  Philadelphia  -who  was  a  Quaker, 
and  was  refused.  Upon  Inquiry  Mr.  Magee  learned  that  the 
Quaker  objected  to  loan  money  to  a  man  who  went  around 
with  a  frilled  shirt.  As  I  had  special  charge  of  the  design 
of  the  Magee  monument,  on  the  public  square  In  Wellsboro, 
I  Insisted  that  the  sculptor,  Mr.  Conkey,  should  represent  the 
frilled  shirt  bosom  on  the  bust. 

Mr.  Magec's  son,  Duncan  S.,  was  with  him  at  our  first 
meeting,  In  Tioga,  and  I  noticed  how  respectfully  the  son 
treated  his  father.  Both  asked  many  questions  In  reference 
to  the  Wellsboro  &  Lawrencvllle  railway,  which  I  was  then 
laying  out.  On  January  30,  1868,  I  called  at  Mr.  Magee's 
house,  In  Watklns,  N.  Y.,  where  I  exhibited  my  profile  and 
estimates  of  cost  of  the  Wellsboro  &  Lawrencevllle  Railroad. 
For  more  than  an  hour  Mr.  Magee  piled  me  with  questions, 
and  I  wondered  at  his  quick  preception  of  engineering  points, 
and  hl3  knowledge  of  railroad  supplies,  etc.  After  he  got 
through  asking  questions  about  the  railroad  project,  he  In- 
quired about  my  personal  affairs,  my  family,  what  work  I 
had  done  In  my  native  country,  why  I  came  to  this  country, 
etc.  This  was  characteristic  of  Mr.  Magee.  He  always  took 
a  great  Interest  In  the  welfare  of  his  employees,  and  his 
kind  words  to  women  and  children  at  Fall  Brook  are  a 
pleasant  recollection  there  to-day  with  some  of  the  old  in- 
habitants.    He  died  April  5th,  1868. 


Judge  Williams  took  a  great  Interest  in  the  railroads  pro- 
jected and  built  in  Tioga  county.  He  gave  liberally  to  the 
right  of  way  fund  which  the  citizens  of  Wellsboro  raised  for 
the  Wellsboro  &  Lawrencevllle  R.  R.,  he  hurried  the  building 
of  this  railroad  by  employing  W.  S.  Ncarlng,  of  Morris 
Run,  to  survey  a  line  from  Arnot  to  Wellsboro  In  1869, 
in  1882  he  was  offered  a  directorship  on  the  board  of  the 
Jersey  Shore  Pine  Creek  &  Buffalo  Railroad,  but  declined  It, 
an  he  thought  It  would  lntorfero  with  his  duties  as  President 
Judge  of  Tioga  county.  He  delivered  eloquent  addresses  at 
the  opening  of  the  Wellsboro  &.  Lawrencevllle  R.  R.  In  1872, 
and  at  the  opening  of  the  Elmlra  &  State  Line  R.  R.,  in 
1876.  He  also  took  great  Interest  in  the  construction  of 
the  Pine  Creek  railroad. 

In  1886  a  few  friends  of  the  late  John  Magee  proposed 
to  erect  a  monument  In  his  honor  on  the  public  Bquare  of 
Wellsboro.  Judge  Williams  was  elected  president  of  this 
monumental  association  June  17,  1886,  and  principally  ow- 
ing to  his  untiring  energy  It  was  possible  to  unveil  the  mon- 
ument on  Dec.  1,  1886.  The  words  spoken  by  Judge  Wil- 
liams at  the  unveiling  were  considered  by  every  one  who 
listened  to  them  as  one  of  the  finest  orations  ever  heard  In 
our  town,  and  Mr.  A.  J.  Shattuck  has  kindly  consented  to 
read  Judge  Williams's  speech  for  us  to-night. 



I  met  George  J.  Magee  for  the  first  time  Nov.  22,  1867,  at 
Fall  Brook.  He  was  then  a  director  of  the  Fall  Brook  Coal 
Company,  whose  business  was  mainly  managed  by  his  father, 
John  Magee,  and  by  his  elder  brother,  Duncan  S.  Magee. 
After  John  Magee's  death,  In  1868,  Duncan  S.  Magee  became 
president.  His  untimely  death,  in  1869,  put  the  heavy  load 
of  the  presidency  on  the  shoulders  of  George  J.  Magee,  who 
was  then  only  29  years  old,  and  practically  unprepared  for 
such  a  responsible  position.  He  had  a  fine  college  education, 
but  had  had  very  little  to  do  with  the  affairs  of  the  Fall 
Brook  Coal  Company.  Unfortunately,  soon  after  his  election 
to  the  presidency,  times  began  to  tighten,  the  annual  sales 
of  Fall  Brook  coal  decreased  steadily,  and  prices  went  down 
so  low  that  after  paying  toll  to  the  Tioga  Railroad,  to  the 
Erie  and  to  the  Northern  Central  the  coal  had  to  be  sold  at 
Watkins  at  a  very  small  profit.  Mr.  Magee  tried  to  have 
the  railroads  reduce  their  tolls,  but  they  relied  on  traffic 
contracts  with  the  Fall  Brook  Coal  Company,  which  were 
made  during  the  war,  when  coal  sold  at  $12  a  ton.  Early 
in  1874  Mr.  Magee  felt  convinced  that  a  new  outlet  for  the 
coal  traffic  would  have  to  be  found,  and  during  that  year 
negotiated  with  the  owners  of  a  charter  for  a  railroad  from 
Corning  to  Sodus  Bay,  but  after  close  investigation  this  did 
not  prove  satisfactory,  and  in  the  fall  of  1875  surveys  for 
a  line  from  Corning  to  Geneva  were  begun,  and  in  1876 
contracts  were  let  for  the  building  of  the  road.  The  con- 
tractors failed  and  Mr.  Magee  himself  had  to  take  the  con- 
tract. To  raise  funds  for  this  purpose  the  whole  property 
of  the  Fall  Brook  Coal  Co.  in  Tioga  county  had  to  be  mort- 
gaged, and  finally  the  Syracuse,  Geneva  &  Coming  railway 
from  Corning  to  Geneva  was  completed,  in  the  fall  of  1877. 

Few  outsiders  knew  of  the  feverish  anxiety  which  pre- 
vailed among  the  head  men  of  the  Fall  Brook  Coal  Co.  during 
the  years  '77,  '78  and  '79,  and  it  took  strong  hands  to  guide 
the  affairs  of  the  company.  Mr.  Magee  was  equal  to  the 
emergency  and  was  faithfully  supported  by  Hon.  Daniel 
Beach  and  Mr.  John  Lang.  I  remember  meeting  a  prominent 
buisness  man  of  Penn  Yan  early  in  1877,  who  said  to  me: 
"General  Magee's  scheme  of  building  a  railroad  from  Corn- 
ing to  Geneva  will  fail  and  he  will  bankrupt  the  Fall  Book 
Coal  Co."  This  prediction  did  not  become  true;  on  the  con- 
trary, the  building  of  the  S.  G.  &  C.  R.  R.  was  the  making 
of  the  Fall  Brook  Coal  Co. 

Construction  of  the  Pine  Creek  R.  R.  by  General  Magee 
followed,  in  1882,  and  with  the  completion  of  that  road,  in 
1883.  the  Fall  Brook  traffic  increased  very  largely. 

The  New  York  Central  soon  found  out  that  the  Fall 
Brook  system  was  the  best  feeder  of  their  main  line,  and  In 
1895  the  first  effort  was  made  to  set  a  price  on  the  property 
of  the  Fall  Brook  Railroad  Co.  General  Magee  knew  that 
eventually  he  would  be  forced  to  sell  out,  and  this  knowledge 
preyed  on  his  mind,  and  I  believe  hastened  his  death,  which 
occurred  March   11,  1899. 

Hardly  a  day  passes  now  but  I  nm  reminded  of  General 
Magee  by  some  incident  in  business  or  social  life.      For  near- 


ly  thirty  years  I  worked  under  him,  and  was  always  treated 
by  him  with  great  kindness  and  consideration.  It  was  char- 
acteristic of  General  Magee  that  he  never  showed  his  author- 
ity In  a  harsh  way,  but  always  tried  to  encourage  his  sub- 
ordinates by  helpful  suggestions  and  brought  about  the  best 
results  In  that  way.  He  was  loved  and  respected  by  all  of 
hla  employes,  and  his  memory  will  ever  be  cherished  by 
them.  N 

A.  H.  GORTON. 

I  met  Mr.  Gorton  for  the  first  time  In  my  office  at  Fall 
Brook,  January  17,  1808,  and  was  at  once  favorably  Im- 
pressed by  his  cordial  and  friendly  greeting.  For  nearly 
twenty  years  our  relations  were  of  the  most  pleasant  char- 
acter, and  many  times  I  received  valuable  advice  from  him 
In  reference  to  new  work  on  tho  Fall  Brook  Railway. 

Mr.  Gorton  was  a  millwright  by  trade,  and  his  first  work 
for  the  Corning  and  Blossburg  railroad  was  the  framing  of 
five-ton  coal  enrs.  He  did  this  work  so  well  that  It  attract- 
ed the  attention  of  the  president  of  the  rallrond,  Hon.  John 
Magee.  and  ho  was  soon  appointed  foreman  of  the  repair  shops 
at  Corning,  and  later  on  Superintendent  of  the  Corning  & 
Blossburg  R.  R.,  which  then  comprised  only  22  miles,  16 
miles  from  Corning  to  Lawrencevllle  and  7  from  Blossburg 
to  Fall  Brook.  By  traffic  contracts  the  Fall  Brook  Coal  Co. 
also  ran  their  trains  over  the  Tioga  railroad  from  Blossburg 
to  Lawrencevllle,  over  the  Erie  from  Corning  to  Horseheads 
and  over  the  Northern  Central  from  Horeheads  to  Watklns. 

At  the  present  time  we  can  hardly  realize  the  great  dif- 
ficulties which  had  to  be  overcome  by  the  superintendents 
who  managed  the  railroads  In  this  county  50  years  ago. 
The  track  was  poorly  constructed,  very  few  sidings  existed 
along  the  line  and  most  of  the  lumber,  ties,  etc.,  had  to  be 
loaded  on  the  main  track.  Mr.  Gorton  was  an  efficient 
superintendent,  and  enjoyed  the  confidence  of  his  employer 
and  the  good  will  of  his  employees.  As  the  Fall  Brook  sys- 
tem gradually  expanded  until  It  reached  more  than  ten  times 
the  mileage  of  1808,  Mr.  Gorton's  capacity  to  rule  such  a 
system  become  more  evident.  He  had  hard  work  to  show  up 
good  results  with  the  limited  means  at  his  command,  and 
had  the  disadvantage  of  starting  business  on  new  track 
which  took  years  to  settle,  and  with  new  men,  who  were  not 
familiar  with  the  lino  and  with  the  peculiar  way  of  hand- 
ling coal  traffic.  It  was  amusing  to  hear  Mr.  Gorton's  suc- 
cessor boast  of  his  superior  management,  which  In  dollars 
and  cents  showed  better  results  than  Mr.  Gorton's,  but  he 
did  not  seem  to  comprehend  that  he  had  a  perfect  track  to 
run  on  and  a  lot  of  men  whom  Mr.  Gorton  had  educated  for 
the  business,  and  that  the  gradual  Increase  of  traffic  on  the 
road    helped    to    decrease    the    proportion    of    expenses 

Mr.  Oorton  died  April  26,  1886.  and  at  his  funeral  many 
of  the  company's  employees  expressed  their  heartfelt  sorrow 
for  the  loss  of  a  man  who  was  to  them  not  only  a  kind  over- 
seer  but  a   true   helping   friend. 



Superintendent  of  the  Tioga  Railroad,  whom  I  first  met 
early  In  1868,  was  considered  one  of  the  best  railroad  man- 
agers In  the  state.  He  worked  his  way  up  from  fireman  to 
engineer,  conductor  and  station  agent,  and  was  perfectly 
familiar  with  every  detail  of  railroad  management.  He  had 
the  respect  of  his  men  and  had  perfect  control  over  them. 
Unlike  another  superintendent  who  relied  on  a  system  of 
splonage  to  uphold  his  position,  Mr.  Shattuck  despised  tale- 
bearers, and  would  not  listen  to  them.  He  could  see  for 
himself  what  was  going  on  and  took  pains  to  watch  closely 
the  operation  of  his  railroad.  Many  a  time  he  would  board 
a  caboose  at  a  water  tank  when  the  men  thought  he  was 
at  the  other  end  of  the  line.  He  always  conversed  freely 
with  his  employes  about  the  work  and  would  allow  them 
to  make  suggestions  for  the  betterment  of  the  service. 

Mr.  Shattuck,  like  Mr.  Gorton,  had  to  overcome  a  great 
many  difficulties  of  which  railroad  superintendents  nowa- 
days know  nothing.  Imperfect  track  and  rolling  stock, 
scarcity  of  sidings  and  often  scarcity  of  funds  for  Improve- 
ments greatly  embarrassed  him  at  times,  but  he  untiringly 
pushed  ahead  and  kept  in  touch  with  all  improvements  in 
the  operation  of  railroads.  Up  to  about  1880  all  trains  run 
into  this  county  were  mixed  trains,  made  up  of  freight  and 
passenger  cars.  Mr.  Shattuck  first  had  the  pluck  to  run 
regular  passenger  trains  between  Elmlra  and  Hoytville. 
believing  that  the  public  would  appreciate  the  innovation 
and  so  increase  the  patronage.  Mr.  Gorton  soon  followed 
suit.  To  Mr.  Shattuck  belongs  the  credit  of  first  introducing 
airbrakes  on  his  passenger  trains,  making  it  safer  for  the 
traffic  and  easier  for  he  trainmen.  He  was  the  first  rail- 
road man  to  introduce  soft  coal  as  fuel  in  locomotives  to 
produce  steam,  constructing  the  first  enlarged  fire-box  with 
improved  grates  to  burn  the  soft  coal  being  taken  from  the 
mines  of  this  county.  Prior  to  his  introduction  of  this  im- 
proved fire-box  for  locomotives,  wood  was  exclusively  burn- 
ed on  the  engines  to  produce  steam.  The  change  from  wood 
to  coal  gave  an  enlarged  market  for  the  product  of  the  mines 
of  this  county.  __ 

I  also  believe  that  Mr.  Shattuck  first  introduced  steam 
heat  an  his  passenger  trains. 

He  died  Nov.  1,  1888,  at  Mansfield,  was  burled  there, 
near  the  railroad  for  which  he  gave  his  best  energies.  At 
the  funeral,  Rev.  A.  W.  Hodder  could  truly  say  of  him:  The 
life  of  Mr.  Shattuck  was  known  by  its  strong  character  and 
love  for  truth,  for  virtue,  for  peace,  for  right  and  for  jus- 


What  a  pity  that  such  good  men  as  F.  H  Goodyear  are 
taken  away  in  the  prime  of  their  useful  lives?  He  died  on 
May  13,  1907 — 5  8  years  old.  ,„mw  ln 

Mr  Goodyear  was  the  foremost  figure  in  the  lumber  in- 
terests in  the  east,  a  leading  factor  In  railroad  «*»!»»«« 
dormant  force  in  the  commercial,  industrial  a^d  flnandal 
world.      Railroad  president,  lumber  and  coal  operator,  iron 


manufacturer  and  financier,  his  responsibilities  probably 
exceeded  In  extent  and  variety  those  of  many  of  his  con- 
temporaries. The  great  enterprises  which  he  controlled 
were  the  results  of  his  own  energy  and  foresight,  and  every 
phase  of  his  career  Is  marked  with  the  Impress  of  unerring 
sagacity,  indomitable  resolution  and  sterling  integrity.  En- 
gaged in  the  coal  and  lumber  trade  in  1871  in  Buffalo,  at 
22  years  of  age,  he  began  on  a  small  scale,  but  soon  extended 
his  operations,  making  large  purchases  of  timber  tracts  in 
McKean,  Potter,  Elk  and  Cameron  counties.  Before  Mr. 
Goodyear's  day  the  only  way  of  getting  logs  to  milling  points 
was  by  water  courses,  by  log  roads,  or  by  sleds.  He  made 
the  innovation  of  building  railroads  for  the  special  purpose 
of  furnishing  transportation  for  logs  and  hemlock  bark. 

I  remember  that  upon  my  first  visit  to  Austin,  Sept.  12, 
1887,  when  I  found  Mr.  Goodyear  laid  up  with  a  sprained 
ankle,  he  asked  his  brother,  Charles  W.,  (who  Is  now  presi- 
dent of  the  Buffalo  &  Susquehanna  Railway)  to  show  me 
some  of  their  proposed  railroad  lines.  Starting  out  next 
morning  behind  a  lively  team,  I  mado  the  remark:  "Mr. 
Goodyear,  you  drive  a  fine  team  there;"  to  which  he  replied: 
"This  is  a  livery  team,  we  do  not  own  any  teams,  all  our 
hauling  is  done  by  locomotives."  Just  think  of  it — a  lumber 
firm  not  owning  any  teams! 

Mr.  F.  H.  Goodyear  was  counted  the  head  of  the  hemlock 
industry  In  the  United  States,  the  total  holdings  in  Pennsyl- 
vania having  an  annual  output  of  200  million  feet,  besides 
many  millions  of  hardwood. 

Mr.  Goodyear  was  president  of  the  B.  &  S.  Coal  &  Coke 
Co.,  and  vice-president  of  the  B.  &  S.  Iron  Co.,  the  latter 
operating  two  large  furnaces  at  South  Buffalo  with  a  capac- 
ity of  225,000  tons  of  pig  iron,  annually. 

In  Frank  Goodyear  the  country  lost  one  of  the  strongest 
and  ablest  of  its  executive  men  of  affairs,  his  friends  a  sin- 
cere, modest  and  most  genial  personality,  his  family  a  kind 
and  devoted  husband  and  father. 

Beginning  life  as  a  poor  boy,  by  ability  and  Integrity 
Mr.  Goodyear  rose  to  the  highest  honors  in  the  business 
world,  the  great  enterprises  which  he  founded  will  live  after 
him  and  perpetuate  his  name,  but  of  more  import  than  any 
material  result,  however  brilliant,  of  his  career,  is  the  ex- 
ample he  presented  of  a  resolution  undaunted  by  any  ob- 
stacle, of  an  honor  without  spot  or  blemish. 


Was  elected  president  of  the  Wellsboro  &  Lawrenceville 
Railroad  Company  January  13,  1868.  Prior  to  that  date  end 
up  to  the  time  of  his  death  Mr.  Sherwood  was  the  counoeler 
and  confidential  advisor  of  the  Fall  Brook  Coal  Co.  Their 
purchases  of  the  Fall  Brook  and  Antrim  coal  lands  were 
negotiated  and  completed  in  his  law  office  and  the  right  of 
way  for  the  Wellsboro  &  Lawrenceville  R.  R.  as  well  as  all 
the  subsequent  lawsuits  in  relation  to  that  right  of  way  and 
to  land  damages  were  managed  by  him  and  his  partner, 
Jefferson   Harrison. 

On  January   23,   1882,  Mr.   Sherwood   was  elected   presl- 


dent  of  the  Jersey  Shore,  Pine  Creek  &  Buffalo  R.  R.  Co., 
which  office  he  held  up  to  the  time  of  his  death.  He  took  an 
active  part  in  getting  the  right  of  way  for  that  road  and 
was  leading  counsel  in  all  law  suits  and  commisions  which 
were  necessary  to  obtain  lands  for  the  railroad. 

Mr.  Sherwood  was  highly  esteemed  by  the  owners  of  the 
Fall  Brook  Railway  system,  and  enjoyed  their  confidence 
and  friendship  to  the  time  of  his  death,  which  occurred  Nov. 
10,  1896. 

Through  Mr.  Sherwood's  death  his  friends  lost  a  most 
genial  companion,  the  Fall  Brook  Railway  a  wise  counseler, 
and  his  family  a  kind  and  devoted  husband  and  father. 


In  the  fall  of  1867,  when  I  began  my  work  for  the  Fall 
Brook  Coal  Company,  Mr.  Harrison  was  Mr.  Henry  Sher- 
wood's partner  and  gave  his  advice  to  the  Fall  Brook  Coal 
Co.  in  all  important  transactions.  He  was  considered  to  be 
one  of  the  best  lawyers  in  Tioga  county,  and  his  advice  was 
frequently  sought  by  the  attorneys  of  other  railroad  com- 
panies. He  assisted  Mr.  Sherwood  at  all  the  lawsuits  which 
were  tried  in  connection  with  the  management  of  the  Fall 
Brook  Railway  Co.,  and  was  advising  trustee  of  the  John 
Magee  estate  up  to  the  time  of  his  death. 

On  January  23d,  1882,  Mr.  Harrison  was  elected  a  di- 
rector and  member  of  the  executive  committee  of  the  Jersey 
Shore,  Pine  Creek  &  Buffalo  R.  R.  Co.  and  rendered  valuable 
service  during  the  building  of  the  road.  He  held  his  posi- 
tion as  director  until  after  the  death  of  Mr.  Sherwood,  when 
he  was  elected  president  of  the  Pine  Creek  Railroad.  He 
died  Dec.  27,  1903. 

I  enjoyed  37  years  of  intimate  friendship  with  Mr.  Har- 
rison. He  always  treated  me  with  unvarying  kindness  and 
took  a  warm  and  sincere  interest  in  my  private  affairs  and  in 
the  welfare  of  my  family,  for  which  I  will  be  grateful  to  the 
end  of  my  life. 


I  met  Mr.  Billings  first  in  Mr.  Sherwood's  office,  Jan.  3, 
1870.  He  was  then  a  member  of  the  board  of  commissioners 
appointed  by  the  Court  to  appraise  land  damages  on  the 
Wellsboro  and  Lawrenceville  Railroad.  Mr.  Billings  Im- 
pressed me  as  a  modest  man  of  very  few  words,  but  of  good 
judgment  in  matters  referring  to  the  railroad.  He  showed 
afterward  great  patience  with  the  extravagant  demands  of 
some  of  the  land  owners  along  the  line,  and  I  could  not  help 
admiring  his  keen   insight   into  human   nature. 

I  well  remember  that  on  the  evening  of  Jan.  5,  1870, 
the  commissioners  met  at  Lyman  Smith's  hotel,  in  Tioga, 
where  we  all  staid  over  night.  Mr.  Billings,  E.  P.  Deane 
and  I  were  assigned  to  one  bedroom,  and  we  went  to  bed 
early,  tired  after  tramping  in  the  snow  during  the  day. 
Some  of  the  other  members  of  the  commission  Indulged  In  a 
game  of  cardB  which  lasted  until  midnight,  when  they  took 
a  notion  to  wake  us  up  and  made  each  of  us  take  a  "night- 


cap."  We  quietly  submitted  to  the  ordeal  and  took  It  good 
naturedly  to  have  one's  sleep  disturbed  at  one  o'clock  In  the 

Mr.  Billings  was  prominently  associated  with  the  early 
struggles  to  obtain  and  keep  alive  the  charter  of  the  Jersey 
Shore,  Pine  Creek  &  Buffalo  R.  R.(  which  in  the  face  of 
great  opposition  succceeded,  though  he  did  not  live  to  see  the 
road  completed.  He  contributed  large  sums  of  money  to- 
wards the  maintenance  of  the  charter,  for  which  neither  he 
nor  his  heirs  received  any  compensation  except  through  the 
increased  value  of  timber  lands. 

Mr.  Billings  was  a  man  of  great  energy,  methodical  bus- 
iness habits  and  unsullied  integrity.  Hundreds  of  men  and 
their  families  got  their  living  through  Mr.  Billings's  enter- 
prse  and  he  helped  many  an  unfortunate  woodsman  to  bridge 
over  hard  times  by  supplying  him  and  his  family  with  the 
necessities  of  life.  Mr.  Billings  had  a  great  many  friends 
in  this  state  and  in  the  state  of  New  York,  and  I  am  proud 
to  say  that  up  to  his  death  he  honored  me  with  his  confidence 
and  friendship.      He  died  Oct.  13,  1879. 


BINDERY,        INC. 
Bound-To- Please" 

NOV  03 

V /